"Code Nemoy, I repeat. Code Nemoy."
The code sent shock waves through the channels of information, running along wires like wild fire through a dry brush in the bush. Never before had the Code Nemoy been deployed; it's meaning translated that there was incoming, unidentified objects hurtling towards Earth. At first the assumption was an asteroid, ready to burn up in the atmosphere. However that was scrapped the second that the two objects began to move as if they had control over their direction. Their estimated landing sight changed every second as they tracked them, until one of them was all but bounced off course by the other and went in a totally different reaction.
Reports through the city came pouring in, of something bouncing across roof tops, smacking into pavement and leaving quite obvious cracks in the four inches thick of cement that made up most side walks. Men in suits barked orders at their underlings, to work out both of the unidentified objects locations. Through unscheduled maintenance though, the computer that had been following one of the pods suddenly began to act up, the screen beginning to go on the fritz and the system literally set fire.
As most employees hurried to push out the flames, one man remained at his post, following the location of the second pod.
"Sir we have a lading, we have a landing!" he called to his superior officer, turning in his seat and removing his head phones as smoke began to activate the sprinkler system high above everyone's heads.
"Well where? Where?" asked a man with a large jaw and wide, strong chest decorated with multiple awards and medals for service to his country.
"What the Hell is that thing?"
The Warden's day was supposed to be an average, every day kind of day. Sure, it was Christmas Eve and the jail was being fairly quiet but it was still a workday. He had expected to roll up to his office, handle the usual paper work, dispense order and organize the roster for the upcoming week where Christmas and New Year shared in the same seven days... but what he hadn't planned on was his guards yelling about something landing in the court yard of the prison. The guards had worked quickly, herding the prisoners like the animals that they were back into their cells. A fair few of them had put up a fight, but after a few strikes to the body with batons they knew better then to fuss any more then usual, and were led away.
In the centre of the court yard, in a small crater, sat a small round pod. Even as he stepped out into the yard the warden could hear the cries of something small and young inside of it. A baby? How did a baby... and in something like that...? Was this some kind of stunt, a joke? The skeptic inside him wanted to believe it was all a hoax by some teenagers or college potheads who thought it funny to try and cause a riot in the prison. But once he reached the front of the pod and stared down the skeptic inside him shrivelled up and died on the spot.
A baby sat within the pod, his skin as blue as a bright summer's day and eyes the color of green he had never seen the likes of before. In its grasp was a small glass orb that held a tiny fish, which made him think of anglers and piranhas. The little baby, clad in a blue one piece, was screaming loudly like any child would when waking in a strange alien place.
"What on Gods green Earth..." the warden heard his mouth say, and he began to approach closer when the sounds of helicopters suddenly filled the air, accompanied by the rumbling noise that only big trucks could give off. He spun on the spot and jumped when a large army truck promptly rode into the fence of the prison and knocked it over. The helicopters hover and ropes come falling out, and men clad in black body armour came leaping out, sliding down the ropes with expertise. Enraged at seeing such an attack on his prison the warden rushed forward. "Just what in the name of Hell is happening?" he demanded one of the men in black who grabbed him and shoved him into the arms of another, shouting something about getting the man in the suit out of here.
The warden looked over his shoulder desperately as he saw a group of men approaching the crater and the pod, and despite all the sounds of men's voices and the drowning thundering noise of helicopters and rumbling engines, he could still hear the screaming of the baby... whatever it was. He was led back into his office by the service men, which refused to say a word to him despite his protests. This was his prison, just wait until the mayor heard of this. They had done thousands of damage by breaking down the fences surrounding the yard, but neither of them seemed to care about his outbursts, or his threats.
Outside he heard the helicopters begin to take off, tasks completed. Still there was the crying of the baby, who tugged at his mind and heartstrings for his wife had only just had their first child a year ago. A crying baby meant multiple things, hunger, cold, heat, thirst, discomfort, fear, pain... he could decipher his daughter's cries by now, but this blue baby's cries were a tumbled mess of everything and nothing.
It would haunt his nightmares for years.
A red telephone rang, and a man behind a desk reached out and picked it up. "Speak to me." he said simply.
"Sir, reporting from the Metro City incident." came an electric sounding voice over the line, distorted to hide identities just as the man behind the desks voice would be distorted to the other man on the phone. "We have collected two specimens, both extremely young. One appears human enough, but the skin is a bright blue and the cranium is at least two times the size of a normal human being."
"And the second?" the man asked.
"Aquatic in nature. We'll know more about their biology once we get them back to the base." came the reply.
"Keep me posted." and the red receiver was placed back home, and the man at the desk leaned back and put his hands together. This was an amazing discovery. Actual alien life, discovered here on Earth! Crash landing here, for that matter too. It was like something out of a sci-fi movie. But fate had slapped them in the face, instead of grown, intelligent beings they had been sent thumb-sucking babies. What was Earth, a baby-sitting service? The fish would be of little importance to their researching, but the humanoid one would be impartial to their organization. They had never found a live alien before, all those located before were dead before impact, as if Earth was a cemetery.
At least a baby-sitting service was one up from a cemetery. It was better then nothing.
The little fish was stressed out, that much was obvious. All around it was a blinding white color, the water was cold and unfeeling as its surroundings and appeared to be actually reacting to the loss of the blue child by its side. It swam around in the square container it had been transferred into, now and then it was swimming so violently that it smacked into glass now and then, dazing itself only to do the same thing again. The room was devoid of life, but that didn't mean the fish was alone. In all corners of the room a camera sat, watching and recording everything.
The images were being sent to further research departments but the closest people to the fish were on another side of a panel of glass, watching its frenzied actions.
"Subject appears to be reacting to the environment. It's aware of its surroundings." said a man with a black tie strung loose around his neck.
"Make note, began erratic behaviour once separated from the other." added another man, this one wearing a red tie, but his done up tight and properly.
"Maybe it feels it is a guardian, or could there be a telepathic link there?"
"Doubtful. Its brain is about the same size as any ordinary fish." replied his co-worker with a shake of his head. "But the increased size of the frontal lobes of the alien child... well, you can't even begin to guess what it might be capable of."
"Have we got a read on that antennae atop its head yet, what is it for?" asked Black Tie man.
"Negative. The technology is beyond our scope, the material it's made of, along with the pod, is not of this earth. Greatest discovery of the decade." replied Red Tie.
"Do you think extracting it is possible?" Black Tie pondered aloud, scribbling on a piece of paper a picture of the fish from as many angles as he could as it continued swimming in crazed circles.
"Possible. It might be connected to its brain. Extraction might mean death. We can't risk that until we study it more." Red Tie pointed out as he leaned closer to the glass, looking at the fish who was now beginning to calm down, exhausted by its actions. They both leaned forward, watching. "Subject has calmed. Send in the intern."
Black Tie repeated the order into a phone and both waited with baited breath as a door to the room slowly opened. In walked a slim, but still well built, young man. He was wearing a white plastic suit over his regular clothes, and looked very apprehensive to enter the room. But still it was his job, so he approached the fish's tank slowly but equally intrigued by the small animal within.
The fish opened its brown eyes and locked onto the young intern, and its tiny fins began to move quickly yet it stayed in one spot.
"Look, it's acting like a regular fish..." Black Tie observed as the tiny fish swam into the closest corner of the tank, and bumped against the glass in an almost stupid action. "Is it acting? That's amazing...!"
"So when in the company of other creatures it takes on the persona of a regular, unintelligent earth fish?" asked Red Tie, unsure of what he thought of this advancement in their research. The intern, inside the white sterile room, walked closer to the tank and looked down into it, the small fish now swimming around in dazed circles. "A disguise within it's own appearance. People will naturally assume it a regular fish and if it acts that way it would be left alone...! That's amazing. Would it have done the same behaviour back on its original planet?" Red Tie was now thinking quickly and deeply over the fish and it's map that it clearly had in its mind.
So enrapt they were, the two men almost missed what happened next. The fish suddenly turned, and actually leapt clear out of the water. The intern backed up, shocked, but not as much as when its jaws opened to reveal rows of sharp, serrated teeth. Painfully the fish latched its sharp teeth into the man's nose and cheek, sending blood arching in a painful spray. The intern screamed at the pain rocking through his body as those tiny teeth dug deeper, and the fish wriggled its jaws like a shark did in the oceans when attacking dinner.
Red and Black Tie cried out in alarm as the saw the blood continue to gush out of the interns face, and hit alarm buttons as the man tried to pull the fish off of his face before going into shock. But the fish was slippery, and small, as well as determined. The room suddenly flooded with more men, one with a needle. They grabbed the fish and injected the clear fluid into the tiny body and almost instantaneously the fish went limp, and almost dropped to the floor before another man caught it. The intern, face practically ripped open with pieces of his own flesh hanging like loose clothing, was rushed out of the room and left a trail of blood in his wake.
"Did you see that?" Black Tie asked, eyes wide.
"He practically tore his face open!" Red Tie gaped. "That was incredible! Such speed for an aerodynamically challenged species! Just look at the blood!"
How could one not? The white interior of the room was splattered with blood, the walls, floor, and even the ceiling from when the fish had nicked a vital vein in the man's face. The small fish, still limp and dead eyed was put back in the water, this time a lid being affixed to the top of the tank. It sank like a stone, and made a dull 'thump' as it hit the bottom as red plumes of blood drifted from its still open mouth. It had chunks of flesh still caught in its teeth.
"Very dangerous, extremely..." Black Tie mused. "We may be unable to truly examine it while it's still living."
"Keep it alive a little while longer. We'll experiment with pain receptors in the brain and other means, to see how its reaction would be. Then we can terminate it, and do a proper biological study and find out how it works. From the x-rays it appears to share the same biological outline as our oceans fish. Besides, I want to see that antennae up close, and see what it's capable of."
"Agreed." Black Tie replied, and both men nodded to each other before going out to lunch to enjoy some sushi. Naturally once outside the base neither of them could speak to one another of what they had witnessed inside, it was simple office policy. In fact, neither men knew each others name, if they were married, divorce, single or anything. The men and women who worked within this secret organization operating within the government knew little to nothing of their co-workers and that's the way it had been since Roswell. That was the way it was going to be until the end of time, and breaking this policy would normally mean termination and that didn't just mean ending their contract.
The baby lay, naked, on a white plastic bed within an incubation room. It had suction cups attached to its large head, chest and stomach that were connected to large machines that were measuring the baby's heart rate, breathing, and brain activity. It had been crying non-stop and only now it had calmed down, eyes red and face streamed with tears, before it finally drifted into silence, and fell asleep.
Three women were in the room, wearing protective suits, as if fearing the child carried deadly bacteria. It had been, naturally, chemically bathed and the clothing it had arrived in carried away to be sterilized and investigated. As usual, these three women did not know each other's name, but had chosen nicknames on their favourite fruit. There was Apple, Grape, and Peach. Apple adjusted her suit, annoyed at how stuffy it got wearing this gear.
"Appearing to the x-rays taken earlier," Peach was saying as she held up black print outs, "The baby has two hearts."
"Two?" Apple asked, looking at her own copies.
"For a brain that size it would need extra blood to operate properly, obviously." Grape replied with a snort. "Look at how they beat out of sync, as one gets larger the other gets smaller and vice versa."
"Its chest cavity is so small. No doubt it's to accommodate for room." Peach pointed out as she slipped the x-ray into her folder. "Everything else seems fairly human. Lungs, stomach, digestion tract and that brain... I've never seen anything like it."
"It is amazing." Grape said as she moved closer to the sleeping baby. "Its brain activity is five times that of a baby this size."
"Just how old do we think it is?" Apple asked. Here in the ward, it would never be referred to as 'he'. It was easier to keep distance, to not get attached, so no name would be given nor would clarification of its gender. It was not he, or she. Simply it.
"Judging from how big it is, our estimates put it at roughly ten months old. Already it's shown perfect hand eye coordination, the ability to sit up, and knows to take information in from its surroundings." Peach replied, looking at some notes taken by earlier researchers. It was marked as Top secret and would only see another persons pair of eyes before being stocked away somewhere, never to be seen by other people. "Makes you wonder how long it spent in that pod."
"Estimates is at two weeks, judging by fuel consumption and the wearing on the metal." Grape reported quickly. "One has to wonder how it survived on little to no food."
"Slow metabolism?" queried Apple.
They all continued talking as the baby slept on in the warmth that the incubator offered. The machine that read its brain activity continued to ping now and then when a spike would happen, meaning that the baby was capable of dreams. Just what did it dream of? Shapes? Colors? Faces? Memories? No matter how desperate these scientists were to know these facts, none of them would ever know. The baby squirmed in his bed, flexing his small blue fingers, wanting to feel the familiar, calming feeling of smooth, round glass but found nothing but emptiness.
It was a feeling he was going to have to get used to, and fast for time inside the white walls was hard to tell, for their walls were bare, there were no clocks of any kind. Even the men and women in the facility wore no watches, as if being reminded that it was an ungodly hour outside would distract them from the work they were doing. All the men looked wide and awake, faces clean-shaven and smelling of after-shave. The women's hair was always perfect, and their make up in place. This was a very high-class work place after all, and they were expected to look their best.
Yes, even when watching a fish in a large rectangle fish tank. It had been a few weeks now, and the fish had lashed out at numerous workers by now. It seemed far stronger than they expected, despite its small size, since it was capable of smashing through strong, reinforced glass. Red and Black Tie had started an amusing little game of making notches on a rule for just how many times it drew blood from people who they sent into the room with it.
But that number had dwindled since the higher ups caught wind of this little 'game' and ordered the fish remained drugged to the point of being in a barely conscious state. This meant it barely moved at the best of times, drifting in the water, moving with the small current caused by the filter in the tank. By now a few of its scales were missing, removed by scalpels to see if there was much difference between them and earths fish. It turned out the alien fish scales were far more durable and strong, capable of withstanding heat as well as ice but of course it had its limitations. In the end it resulted in the fish was almost invulnerable to most extremes, even bullets if fired from a certain distance.
"Enough time has passed, Red Tie." Black Tie said finally one day, as they went over the video surveillance of the fish. "It's been deteriorating for days now. Putting it out of its misery would be for the best, and then we can finally do an autopsy on it."
"Agreed." Red Tie replied as he looked at the fish through the window, it was now floating towards the top of the water, listless and half lifeless.
"And, we'll finally get to really see what the metal is made of." Black Tie grinned.
They had, naturally, experimented on it. The metal didn't seem to pick up radio waves, nor did it have the ability to power electrical devices. They had even gone so far as to inflict mild pain on the baby alien to see if the fish could pick this up, and vice versa. Neither tests revealed anything, so there was no telepathic link between the two or linking the fish to anything metallic. It had been somewhat of a let down.
Inside his tank, the small fish hovered. All he could see was white, and after seeing nothing but white for weeks and weeks it became quite blinding. This wasn't where he belonged at all, not in this white, formless world. His ward needed him yet he had no way to get to him. What if he was already dead? Then he would have failed in the mission given to him, his reason for existence would be null and void. The small fish drifted to the bottom of his tank and sat there, simply waiting.
"Now we can't simply take it out of the water," Black Tie said as the two men pulled on matching white gloves. "It can last without water far longer then any aquatic animal I've ever seen so this is going to have to be done the old fashion way."
Red Tie agreed and pulled up a small case, which had a skull and cross bones, printed on its topside for poison. Opening it he took out a needle and a small vials. Removing the needles tip he inserted it into the vials inside and extracted a good dose of the chemical. "It'll be just like going to sleep." he said, as they moved through the connecting door to the white room that kept the tiny fish.
Brown eyes locked on them as soon as they entered, listless as they were, and watched as they approached. Normally people getting so close would end up being bitten by those sharp little teeth but he felt so tired, so exhausted, he just drifted along the bottom of the tank. Suddenly a gloved hand was grasping him and lifting him up out of the water, causing the fish to wriggle in Red Tie's grasp.
"Here we go..."
The pain was short and quick, then he was back in the water. Swimming around slowly, the little fish swam in lazy circles until he was overcome with the urge to sleep. It was striking just how quickly it had come on, while he had felt certainly under the weather a moment ago now it just felt worse. Sleeping normally for the fish was quick, only an hour at a time, for stress levels kept it awake all hours of the day and night though within this room it had long lost the ability to tell when it was day, or night time. The two foggy figures outside his cage dipped into blackness as the little fish drifted to the bottom of his tank.
Sleeping, right now, felt like the best idea in the world. Brown eyes slowly slid shut, darkness enveloped him, and the stress slipped away as did all his pain and worries...
He found peace, and fell into the darkness as the last thoughts were of his ward, and if they'd be together again soon.To be continued